‘Prepare for Care’ informs elderly, caregivers on services

Published 3:22 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

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By Angela Cutrer
Star correspondent
On Aug. 31, a panel of experts will cover topics related to aging during a presentation called “Prepare for Care: An Introduction to Generational Households and Caring for Aging Parents” at the Elizabethton Senior Center. The event begins at 11 a.m. and runs to 1 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

Reports state that half of Americans past age 50 are now caregivers to others. Of that number, according to the University of Michigan’s recent “National Poll on Healthy Aging,” research found that two-thirds of caregivers/helpers reported problems like physical and emotional fatigue, difficulty balancing family responsibilities and work, and lack of time for self-care.

In 2020, 41.8 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult over the age of 50. That’s nearly 17 percent of the U.S. adult population; 89 percent of caregivers provide care for a relative or other loved one, such as a spouse.

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That’s why it’s important for caregivers – as well as the elderly not yet needing care – should prepare for the care to expand and know all the services that are there to help, just for the asking.

The Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce Foundation partnered with Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, the Elizabethton Senior Center and the Silver Angels of Tennessee-Carter, LLC. to bring the panel to the area to speak on issues that affect aging and caretaking. The panel will discuss conservatorship, wills, hospice, in-home care and navigating insurance.

“The chamber wanted to bring in people to inform the elderly about adult care and we were glad to partner with them,” said Park and Rec’s Derrick Vine. “It’s an introduction to the services available and how to reach them, which is important in knowing how to get help.”